Attention, homeowners: Read your Bill of Rights


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Using a community center in Falls Church, Va., as a backdrop, Obama outlined the plan, some of which will need congressional approval. While acknowledging that many lenders and homeowners helped cause the housing bust by entering into mortgages they could not afford, the president pointed out that other homeowners acted responsibly and still find themselves victims.

“It is wrong for anyone to suggest that the only option for struggling responsible homeowners is to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom,” Obama said.

One of the key aspects of Obama’s plan is the Homeowner Bill of Rights, which include:
• A simple mortgage disclosure form, so you understand the loans you are taking out;
• Full disclosure of fees and penalties;
• Guidelines to prevent conflicts of interest that end up hurting homeowners;
• Support, which will help keep responsible families in their homes and out of foreclosure; and
• Protection for families against inappropriate foreclosure, including right of appeal.

Another major part of the plan being sent to Congress would help homeowners who made their payments on time but find themselves “underwater” on their mortgages to refinance at what Obama described as “historically low rates.”

Obama also made a reference to his administration “working to turn more foreclosed homes into rental housing” to prevent “for sale” signs from bringing down the price of homes in a neighborhood.

Click here for Obama’s full plan.